Macbook 12 vs Macbook Air

snazzybunny

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Original poster
Feb 10, 2017
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i can get the macbook air 2018 16 gb/512 gb new for 1500usd. Do I go for it or wait for macbook 12 to get an update? Like the looks and size of the macbook 12. If the air had quadcore i’d be a lot happier. Right now, i have the 2018 mbp touchbar 15 inch high end, which I want to leave at home. The secondary computer will also be used for software development. Thanks!
 

Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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I would get the 2018 MacBook Air, it’s a bit faster spec wise and the battery life is better on the Air.
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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What about the screen? Do you think the macbook 12 will get updated soon?
You get a bigger screen with the Air. The 12 Macbook is due an update as it wasn't updated last year (except for Apple adding the new gold colour to match the Air). It could be that they are about to redesign it, after all the 12" Macbook was first introduced in 2015, that's 4 years ago. On the other hand Apple may just give it a spec bump, at this moment in time it's just a guessing game.

The Air has the following features that i think would be worth getting over the 12" Macbook at this point

Touch ID
13" display
up to 13 hours of iTunes movie playback and 12 hours wireless web browsing (the 12" Macbook has 10 hours)
Spec wise its a little faster than the 12" MacBook at this point
 

Loge

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Jun 24, 2004
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If you are doing software development with an IDE, the additional screen real estate on the Air will make a significant difference. The extra port may come in handy too, for example if you doing mobile dev, and need to test on a connected device.
 
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snazzybunny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2017
17
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If you are doing software development with an IDE, the additional screen real estate on the Air will make a significant difference. The extra port may come in handy too, for example if you doing mobile dev, and need to test on a connected device.
That’s a good idea. Do you think 1500 is too much? Cant believe people are ahelling out 2000 for 16 gb and 512 ssd.
 
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Barna Biro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2011
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That’s a good idea. Do you think 1500 is too much? Cant believe people are ahelling out 2000 for 16 gb and 512 ssd.
Why is that so hard to believe? Software development has many aspects... maybe your needs are met with a lower spec machine with less memory (because you are not using Docker, VMs or running a couple of services simultaneously in the background) and less disk space, but others might have other needs.

Now if you were talking purely about the price to spec ratio, then well, i'd even argue that 1500 is too much... or do you really need a Mac? Perhaps you can get the same job done on a way cheaper Windows / Linux notebook.
 

snazzybunny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2017
17
2
Why is that so hard to believe? Software development has many aspects... maybe your needs are met with a lower spec machine with less memory (because you are not using Docker, VMs or running a couple of services simultaneously in the background) and less disk space, but others might have other needs.

Now if you were talking purely about the price to spec ratio, then well, i'd even argue that 1500 is too much... or do you really need a Mac? Perhaps you can get the same job done on a way cheaper Windows / Linux notebook.
Have a t480 lenovo as well. I have manjaro, ubuntu and windows on it. Wish it had a better trackpad. Guess I cant have everything. 1500 is a lot for a dual core :( but I am getting it 500 dollars cheaper than retail. I just wanted something small and portable. I have a server for vms and docker so i dont need it on the laptop. Thanks!
 

Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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Have a t480 lenovo as well. I have manjaro, ubuntu and windows on it. Wish it had a better trackpad. Guess I cant have everything. 1500 is a lot for a dual core :( but I am getting it 500 dollars cheaper than retail. I just wanted something small and portable. I have a server for vms and docker so i dont need it on the laptop. Thanks!
At the end of the day I think you get what you pay for, with Mac’s you’re paying for an experience as well as a great product. I would get the Air if I was you but that’s just my personal choice.
 

Ruskes

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2019
135
37
I look at it this way. A computer last 5 Years or less, or that is when I buy a new one.
The question to answer is how will it perform with new demands in 5 Years.
How do you know.
An approximation to use is:
Look at computer from 5 years ago and how it preforms today.
Probably short on RAM, CPU Power, while the disk is not a problem with all the Cloud stuff.
GPU can be a question mark depending on your usage.
Be aware that the Mac Books have significant problem with the quality of the build in camera.
That might not be a problem for you, just do not get disappointed.
 
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auxbuss

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2014
167
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UK
At the end of the day I think you get what you pay for, with Mac’s you’re paying for an experience as well as a great product. I would get the Air if I was you but that’s just my personal choice.
I'm not sure about the experience, but the Apple ecosystem – when you have multiple devices – provides a lot of benefits when you exploit it. I take it for granted now, but I'd not want to lose it.
 
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Dave245

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I'm not sure about the experience, but the Apple ecosystem – when you have multiple devices – provides a lot of benefits when you exploit it. I take it for granted now, but I'd not want to lose it.
I’m referring to the experience of MacOS, there is nothing else like it. Windows doesn’t even come close in my opinion (and that’s after using the Surface Pro 6 for the last few months).

I agree about the ecosystem, everything works so well together. Mac’s, iPad, Apple Watch and iPhone all work really well together.
 
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lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
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You guys are all assuming Apple is going to continue manufacturing the 12” MacBook. Personally, I don’t think they are. I think the 12" MacBook is done, and the new 2018 Air is what’s going to replace it. My Opinion of course, and everyone’s going to scream and yell at me. But ask yourself this: why keep it in the lineup? Especially when the 2018 Air is a better computer all around? Guess we’re going to find out sometime this year, aren’t we?
 
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MacPoulet

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2012
211
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Canada
I'd say it depends mostly on what you need it for. If portability is key, I'd go for the MacBook. If battery life, the Air.
 

Ghost31

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Jun 9, 2015
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Just for screen and keyboard alone. It doesn't sound like much, but that extra inch and a half makes a world of difference. Macbook feels tablet sized. MacBook Air feels like a proper laptop. And the keyboard feels much much better
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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Just for screen and keyboard alone. It doesn't sound like much, but that extra inch and a half makes a world of difference. Macbook feels tablet sized. MacBook Air feels like a proper laptop. And the keyboard feels much much better
Also if I’m not mistaken the failure rate on the third gen keyboard is lower.
 

snazzybunny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2017
17
2
Thanks guys.
Also if I’m not mistaken the failure rate on the third gen keyboard is lower.
Yea my keys on the mbp 15 2018 dont get stuck anymore. I’m going to the mac store to check it out tomorrow. Doesnt make sense to me to go with the macbook 12 since it hasnt been updated in so long :(.
 
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Ghost31

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Jun 9, 2015
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You guys are all assuming Apple is going to continue manufacturing the 12” MacBook. Personally, I don’t think they are. I think the 12" MacBook is done, and the new 2018 Air is what’s going to replace it. My Opinion of course, and everyone’s going to scream and yell at me. But ask yourself this: why keep it in the lineup? Especially when the 2018 Air is a better computer all around? Guess we’re going to find out sometime this year, aren’t we?
This same thing like almost verbatim was said about the MacBook Air. “Why keep it when there’s the MacBook? How can it be called air when it’s bigger than the MacBook?”

Then apple releases the ‘18 MacBook Air totally confusing everybody. I mean damn. Everybody said the same thing about the iPad mini and here we are with leaks about a new one. I would stop making predictions at this point. Apples lineups make no flipping sense
 

fokmik

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Oct 28, 2016
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12" Macbook is due to an upgrade...if it will be with Intel or ARm doesn't matter
If you can get it with 40-50% discount the 2017 model than get it...its portable,beautiful ,fanless with good battery life

Macbook Air, more real estate, better keyboard, better performance, not good but great battery life, touchID, a little bit better speakers, 2usbC tb3, better faceTime camera
 
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radiologyman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2011
639
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Macbook 12 is still unsurpassed ultraportable with stunning design. Laptop with weight and portability of an Ipad but without loss in productivity. MB will be updated eventually, when meaningful processor upgrade available. What MBA got is essentially slightly overclocked 2017 MacBook 12 processor.
 
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Dodgeman

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2016
1,266
189
Torn on this decision too. The price difference for me is $100 either way.
I am not liking what I am hearing about the dimmer screen on the 2018 air or the 128gb entry memory.
However in my eyes I want my new purchase to last a while. I like the small size of the 12 Macbook and the 255 memory and the fact that I am hearing the screen is brighter but for everyday web browsing which is my primary use at the moment and maybe iPhone back ups in the future I don't know if the 100 offers true value....
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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12" Macbook is due to an upgrade...if it will be with Intel or ARm doesn't matter
If you can get it with 40-50% discount the 2017 model than get it...its portable,beautiful ,fanless with good battery life

Macbook Air, more real estate, better keyboard, better performance, not good but great battery life, touchID, a little bit better speakers, 2usbC tb3, better faceTime camera

Slower wifi on the Air.
And are you sure the camera is better? I thought it was a real step backwards? I could be wrong on thst point.
 

snazzybunny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2017
17
2
Brightness seems fine to me. I usually dont have it very high on the mbp 15 2018. Got the air 16 gb 512 for 1450 which is quite decent. The laptop is so small but is heavier than it looks.
 

Dodgeman

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2016
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I been going back and forth between the 3 computers.... 2 really. I gave the MBPro some consideration but I have not real need for the Pro Machine.
So I narrowed it down to the 2018 Air and the 17 MacBook (12 inch).
Not too many people are the biggest fans of the 12 inch MacBook, but it stood out to me based on the size/profile. Also the fact that I can get 256gb in the memory was a plus to me.
As I researched I waited a bit for the 2018 Air to drop, and it looks great and is not much bigger than the 12inch MacBook. However once I started hearing about the screen not being as bright and having an entry point of 128gb that kind of pushed me back. Although pricing wise for what I am looking at there is $100 more for me to pay for the MB12 or the 2018 Air, so I am thinking the 100 is worth the entry into the 256gb world.
However I plan on keeping the computer a long time and not sure I will even fill up a 128gb laptop, as it is mainly used for simple web browsing as its number 1 goal and then possibly some word documents, and possibly an iPhone back up here and there, but I wanted to further proof my device.
I thought about doing the air and if need be going to a simple flash drive down the road.... but not sure.
For me I it was such a close call. The features of the air are nice and new and you do get a bigger screen and Touch ID.... but the MB12 is a lean and mean machine for my needs and I get the 256 on board.
Who knows what I will do but today is day 1 of my 14 days so if I start not feeling the MB12 I may switch to the 2018 Air.


Only thing that would throw salt into the wound at this point is 1)The price of the MB12 plummets or 2)They release a new model for close to the same price or less with all of the new features like Touch ID.
 

snazzybunny

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2017
17
2
I have the air now and have restored it with time machine. Battery life is pretty bad but I'm running a lot of things on it. The brightness on the screen is actually really bright and I don't think I would ever use it at max level.